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Beloit College

Japanese Curriculum

Instruction takes place over four or eight weeks, for 26 hours a week. The summer session schedule typically follows this pattern: the first hour consists of warm-up and review, the second and third hours focus on grammar and vocabulary activation, and the fourth hour emphasizes discussion and mastering conversational patterns. The first hour after lunch focuses on grammar drills, while the last hour is devoted to the area studies/cultural component.

One night a week is devoted to a video presentation/discussion session. The schedule is arranged to provide an alternation of native Japanese and American instructional voices, and a variety of Japanese voices on audio tapes and video tapes.

Students are graded on their homework assignments, the dialogues they prepare for class presentation, compositions based on the culture presentations, quizzes after each lesson of the book, and both an oral and written mid-term and final examination. Individual tutorial sessions, audio tape, and computer lab exercises are available for independent work after class.

First-Year Japanese

100A-105A. First-Year Japanese I, II (six semester credit hours each). The first-year course provides a solid foundation in basic Japanese. Students learn the two phonetic alphabets-- Hiragana and Katakana--as well as approximately 150 Chinese characters (Kanji) and the basic Japanese grammatical patterns. Through texts and supplementary materials, the course offers thorough instruction and rigorous training in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Practice in the language laboratory and individualized study sessions outside the classroom supplement the formal instruction. A cultural component is interspersed with the daily language studies.

Second-Year Japanese
110A-115A. Second-Year Japanese I, II (six semester credit hours each). The second-year course covers the basic patterns of Japanese and introduces approximately 170 Kanji characters. Classes and many cultural lectures are conducted in Japanese to stress training in comprehension (both reading and aural), speaking, and composition. Special emphasis is placed upon the development of free conversational skills. Students entering second-year Japanese are expected to have mastered Genki 1, or the equivalent, including all of the Kanji characters introduced in Genki 1 (lessons 3 through 12). A list of those characters is available online at the Japan Times website.

Third-Year Japanese
200A-205A. Third-Year Japanese I, II (six semester credit hours each). Third-year Japanese continues to develop more complicated and enhanced communicative abilities in all four language skills. Students develop the awareness of different styles and levels of speech, such as written and spoken styles, formal and informal speech, men's and women's speech, and especially Keigo, so that they can communicate appropriately in both written and spoken forms of the language. In addition, the ability to read and write about more complicated ideas and the expansion of knowledge of Kanji and vocabulary are also emphasized. The course uses selected literary works that vary from year to year. Students entering third-year Japanese are expected to have mastered all of Genki 1 and 2, or the equivalent, including all of the Kanji characters introduced in Genki 1 and Genki 2 (lessons 3 through 23). A list of those characters is available online at the Japan Times website.

Fourth-Year Japanese
220A-225A. Fourth-Year Japanese I, II (six semester credit hours each). This course develops advanced skills in both spoken and written Japanese. Sophisticated writing skills are cultivated through frequent composition assignments. Student presentations and class discussions train students to express complex thoughts orally in Japanese. Reading materials cover a wide range of cultural and social issues. In addition, a variety of materials (TV programs, newspapers, audiotapes, videos, and Internet resources) are used. The course is conducted almost exclusively in Japanese. The fourth-year course is designed for students who have mastered the third -year textbook, Jokyu e no Tobira Pilot Version II, or its equivalent, and completed six semesters of formal training in Japanese, or the equivalent.